Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Popcorn Health Benefits Include Antioxidants

The most widely known health benefit of popcorn is that it is a good source of fiber.

And now, recent studies show that it's also packed with high levels of antioxidants that could give fruits and vegetables a run for its money.

A professor of chemistry from the University of Scranton, Joe Vinson PhD, claims "Based on fiber, whole grains, and antioxidant levels, popcorn is the king of snack foods."

Vinson and a chemistry student at the same university, Michael Coco, Jr., analyzed four different varieties of popcorn that are available commercially and evaluated their polyphenol content, a known antioxidant.

They found that polyphenols in one serving of popcorn could reach around 242-363 milligrams. To give you an idea how much that is, comparative data shows that a serving of an average fruit only has about 160 mg of polyphenol.

Despite the findings, Vinson is not promoting that people should eat popcorn instead of fruits and vegetables. He advises that one should have a balanced diet and get nutrients from different sources. However, he did advise that people should try as much as possible to hold out on the butter and other artificial flavorings that many people put on popcorn because it ruins its health benefits.

Via WebMD